Whiter Than Snow

Whiter Than Snow
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Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole;
I want Thee forever to live in my soul;
Break down every idol, cast out every foe,
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow,
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Lord Jesus, let nothing unholy remain,
Apply Thine own blood and remove every stain;
To get this blest washing I all things forgo;
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Lord Jesus, Thou seest I patiently wait;
Come now, and within me a new heart create;
To those who have sought Thee, Thou never saidst, “No!”
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

The blessing by faith I receive from above;
O glory, my soul is made perfect in love!
My prayer has prevailed, and this moment I know
The blood is applied, I am whiter than snow.

The author of this song was James Nicholson, a devoted Christian who worked in the U.S. Post Office in Washington, D.C. He had been born in Ireland in the 1820’s and emigrated to America in the 1850’s. He published this hymn in 1872, basing it on David’s words in Psalm 51:7. Originally there were six verses, each beginning with “Dear Jesus”, but an unknown editor later changed the words to “Lord Jesus”. Poets don’t always have full control of their writings!

William Fisher
William Fisher

The music was composed by William Fischer, who had learned to read music while attending vocal classes at a German-speaking church in Philadelphia. He worked as a bookbinder, but spent his evenings pursuing his interest in music. Later, he taught music at a Philadelphia college, and eventually went into the piano business. Fischer also led singing at evangelistic meetings, including the 1000-voice choir at the D.L. Moody/Ira Sankey Campaign in Philadelphia in 1875. During his lifetime he composed over two hundred hymn tunes.

A verse not included in the two most recent S.A. Song Books, but back in the 1955 edition, is especially applicable following our Pentecost Sunday and Col. Lindsay Rowe’s message on Pentecost Power . It says:

Lord Jesus, look down from Thy throne in the skies,
And help me to make a complete sacrifice;
I give up myself and whatever I know;
Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

May we Christians of today learn to receive the spiritual power that comes from surrendering ourselves to Jesus.

WORDS: JAMES NICHOLSON MUSIC: WILLIAM FISCHER
S.A.SONG BOOK, 2015 EDITION – #721 1987 EDITION – #436 1955 EDITION – #380
REFERENCE: MORGAN, ROBERT J., THEN SINGS MY SOUL, BOOK 2

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